Exchange in Focus: Bahrain Bourse issues ESG reporting guidelines for issuers

17 June 2020

As part of Bahrain Bourse’s (BHB’s) efforts to promote sustainability and transparency in Bahrain’s capital market, BHB announced that it has issued Environmental Social & Governance (ESG) reporting guidelines for listed companies. The voluntary reporting guidance aims to assist listed companies to integrate ESG issues in their reporting cycle and better meet the demands of institutional investors for material ESG information.  Shaikh Khalifa Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain Bourse said, “As a Partner Exchange member of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative and a member of the World Federation of Exchanges, Bahrain Bourse has made a formal commitment to drive sustainability in the capital market of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Building upon this initiative, we have issued the ESG reporting guidance to encourage and assist listed companies in disclosing ESG information that investors can utilize to make informed and responsible investment decisions.”  “The guidelines include the latest third-party reporting methodologies widely adopted by the industry and aims to assist listed companies in navigating the evolving standards on ESG reporting and disclosure. We are looking forward to enhancing transparency and disclosure in Bahrain’s capital market by supporting listed companies’ alignment with Bahrain Economic Vision 2030 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Sh. Khalifa added.  The ESG reporting guidance encourages listed companies to disclose a set of 32 ESG metrics and indicators in alignment with the recommendations of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative and the World Federation of Exchanges, Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) standards, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The guideline explains the key regional and international drivers for adoption of ESG reporting, the importance of ESG reporting, the ways to report on ESG, and concludes with Bahrain Bourse’s efforts in promoting sustainability. “Bahrain Bourse officially joined the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative in February 2019 and now just over twelve months later they have delivered an important milestone in promoting improved ESG disclosure in their market,” said James Zhan, UNCTAD Director of Investment and Enterprise and Chairman of the SSE Board. “We congratulate Bahrain Bourse on this accomplishment and encourage other exchanges to join the now 54 exchanges worldwide that have such guidance.” Bahrain Bourse is also leading by example: it just published its own ESG performance for the first time within its 2019 Annual Report

New ESG Guidance Database 

The SSE ESG Guidance Database contains a comprehensive list of all stock exchange ESG guidance documents in the world so that other stock exchanges can learn from their peers. The database is now updated to include an analysis of major ESG reporting instruments referenced in stock exchange guidance documents. To learn more, check our press release about the new database.

About the SSE

​The SSE initiative is a UN Partnership Programme organised by UNCTAD, the UN Global Compact, UNEP FI and the PRI. The SSE’s mission is to provide a global platform for exploring how exchanges, in collaboration with investors, companies (issuers), regulators, policymakers and relevant international organizations, can enhance performance on ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) issues and encourage sustainable investment, including the financing of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The SSE seeks to achieve this mission through an integrated programme of conducting evidence-based policy analysis, facilitating a network and forum for multi-stakeholder consensus-building, and providing technical assistance and advisory services.